The HP FX900 has snappy efficiency and a aggressive value level that may actually discover its technique to our record of finest SSDs with an astonishing 828,000/663,000 peak learn/write IOPS.
It might shock individuals to be taught that HP has made some first rate SSDs. (Properly, the HP SSDs are literally made by BiWin for HP, however you get the concept.) The primary HP SSD, the HP EX920, launched in 2018, was an early instance of a aggressive shopper drive that didn’t begin with the identify Samsung. Intel had tried beforehand with its 600p, which, whereas formidable, was restricted by Micron’s early 3D TLC flash and SMI’s immature SM2260 controller. The HP EX920 mixed 64-layer Micron TLC with the SM2262 to supply wonderful on a regular basis efficiency. HP later introduced out its convey out its EX950 to utilize a brand new SM2262EN controller revision. It nonetheless stays aggressive with drives that have been constructed on the Phison E12, now E12S, controller.
HP additionally made some less-successful SSDs like its EX900, an entry-level DRAM-less choice that was not as dependable in follow. DRAM-less drives from that period — these primarily based on SMI’s SM2263XT and Phison’s E13T — tended to be problematic. Nevertheless, more moderen DRAM-less drives have confirmed to be strong and even downright quick, like with WD’s SN770. Expectations are that the HP FX900, primarily based on the DRAM-less InnoGrit IG5220 controller, may also shine, significantly because it makes use of very quick flash.
The FX900 additionally has a quicker sibling within the FX900 Professional, a drive we are going to evaluate at a future date. For now, we wish to see how this drive measures up not solely in opposition to the older designs it’s changing however even newer, high-end drives. Is it actually honest to name this “entry-level” and even “mid-grade” in any significant use of these phrases?
|Capability (Consumer / Uncooked)||256GB / 256GB||512GB / 512GB||1024GB / 1024GB||2048GB / 2048GB|
|Type Issue||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4|
|Controller||InnoGrit IG5220||InnoGrit IG5220||InnoGrit IG5220||InnoGrit IG5220|
|DRAM||No (HMB)||No (HMB)||No (HMB)||No (HMB)|
|Flash Reminiscence||176-Layer Micron TLC (B47R)||176-Layer Micron TLC (B47R)||176-Layer Micron TLC (B47R)||176-Layer Micron TLC (B47R)|
|Sequential Learn||4,600 MBps||4,900 MBps||5,000 MBps||5,000 MBps|
|Sequential Write||1,700 MBps||3,300 MBps||4,800 MBps||4,800 MBps|
|Random Learn||281,000 IOPS||545,000 IOPS||828,000 IOPS||820,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||325,000 IOPS||501,000 IOPS||663,000 IOPS||645,000 IOPS|
|Endurance (TBW)||100 TBW||200 TBW||400 TBW||800 TBW|
|Guarantee||5-12 months||5-12 months||5-12 months||5-12 months|
The HP FX900, manufactured with the help of BiWin, is available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. Sadly, we might solely discover the center two SKUs out there for buy on the time of evaluate. These are priced competitively however, as all the time, contemplate gross sales earlier than making a purchase order.
Efficiency tops out at 5/4.8 GBps for sequential learn and writes, with IOPS hitting an astonishing 828,000/663,000 peak for learn and write, each respectively. Astonishing as a result of this drive is predicated on a quad-channel, DRAM-less controller pushing numbers that might put even the very best PCIe 3.0 NVMe drives to disgrace. We suspect there’s a little bit of fudging right here as these numbers exceed what InnoGrit lists for the IG5220, particularly as we related high-balling with the FX900 Professional and IG5236 – though IOPS this excessive will not be realistically achievable, anyway.
The specs point out that is an entry-level to mid-range NVMe SSD, DRAM-less however capable of profit from PCIe 4.0 bandwidth to a restricted diploma. There are some similarities to drives primarily based on the Phison E16 controller, which has DRAM, however that is clearly newer know-how. As such, it’s positioned extra to compete with WD’s wonderful SN770.
HP gives a 5-year guarantee with 400 TBW per TB of capability. That is lower than typical for the standard NVMe drive however greater than sufficient for many customers.
Software program and Equipment
The HP SSDs have all the time been no-frills, though they do include an M.2 screw. Whereas it’s not troublesome to get M.2 screws and they need to include most motherboards and adapters, customers however appear to all the time ask if a drive comes with the screw. It’s a bit like asking if a SATA SSD comes with a SATA cable — the reply is that the majority don’t. Nevertheless, this one does include the screw.
A Nearer Look
Picture 1 of 4
We see the controller, two NAND packages on the highest aspect, and no DRAM — a minimalist expertise, to make sure. The again label incorporates primary details about the drive. The highest label serves a objective, although, as hinted at within the photos, it’s truly a graphene thermal pad that assists with the dissipation of extra warmth.
The InnoGrit IG5220, also referred to as the RainierQX, is a 4-channel, DRAM-less PCIe 4.0 controller. It does have a DRAM-equipped sibling within the IG5221 RainierQ, however this has not generally been seen within the wild. The IG5220 may be very highly effective and succesful for what it’s and shouldn’t be underestimated. May it assist herald a brand new period of super-capable DRAM-less drives? Some individuals even marvel if this a lot bandwidth is even essential, however it’s spectacular for a 4-channel controller.
The flash is troublesome to learn however appears to be labeled BW29F4T08ENLEE. This could point out BiWin-binned flash from Micron (MT29-equivalent) in 4Tb or 512GB packages, with 8-bit TLC flash of the 176-layer era. This flash has been used to good impact on many drives using the Phison E18 controller. Some commenters are desirous to say that NAND flash has not improved a lot the place it issues – Q1T1 random efficiency – however that overlooks simply how far you possibly can attain with this flash on the IG5220. Moreover, DirectStorage ought to assist customers take higher benefit of this potential.
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